Wednesday 22 February 2023 19.00-20.30 @ BRLSI Elwin Room
Colonial and Botanical Heritage in Two Spa Towns:
Bath in Britain and Bath in Jamaica. A talk by Dr Christina Horvath
This talk seeks to decrypt the colonial connections of two spa towns of the same name, Bath in Somerset, England, and Bath in the parish of St Thomas, Jamaica and explore how their environment and green spaces have been impacted by their shared colonial history. Bath in Somerset benefited from profit drawn from enslaved labour in sugar plantations in the Caribbean to create an attractive neo-Palladian cityscape with outstanding landscape architecture whose ‘universal value’ was recognized by UNESCO in 1987. Bath in Jamaica, in contrast, witnessed colonisation and anti-colonial struggle which resulted in the creation of spa facilities and a botanical garden but also in the destruction of some of the original botanical heritage as well as some of the built heritage. The comparison of both hot springs provides opportunities for a reflection on present-day inequalities within the heritage sector.
The talk is free join in person in Bath(UK) or online. Register here
Botanical Encounters 8 March:
On the Resilience of the Dead Silence and the Crisis of Imagination
Wednesday 8th March 2023 19.00-20.30 @ BRLSI, Elwin Room
On the Resilience of the Dead Silence and the Crisis of Imagination: Walking and Asking Questions in Bath’s Sydney Gardens. A talk by Dr Richard White
In her 1814 novel, Mansfield Park, Jane Austen’s offers a fictional account of how a conversation on slave-ownership was closed down through ‘dead silence’. Between 2019 and 2021 Dr Richard White hosted a series of non-fictional walks, Botany Empire and Deep Time, traversing Sydney Gardens, where Austen famously once walked. The commission from the Lottery funded Sydney Gardens project generated three walking guides, numerous public walks and a performance at the Bath Tree-weekender in 2021. In this presentation Richard will share some of the suppressed knowledges and unheard stories emerging from his work; he will discuss the reception of the walks in the context of the toppling of the Colston statue in Bristol and Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage status. Two hundred years after the publication of Mansfield Park, the presentation asks the question, how resilient is the ‘dead silence’ and why should we care?
The talk is free to join in person in Bath(UK) or online. Register here
Botanical Encounters March 11: a walk
The following Saturday March 11 a walk is presented as a follow up to this presentation, the walk reprises one which was cancelled as unsuitable for the Gala Reopening of Sydney Gardens in 2022.
More details here
The walk is also free but places are strictly limited and registration is essential. Register here
Talks and walks are presented as part of Botanical Encounters. The project aims to disentangle Bath’s often overlooked colonial legacies by looking at the impact of colonial voyages and conquest, imperial science, botanical and arts collections and the global displacement of plants and humans. More here